The superintendents of Region 10 Education Service Center represent 80 public school districts varying greatly in size, demographics and socioeconomic status. Each has individual strengths and needs when planning for the future. Together, superintendents agree on this focused set of priorities entering the 2017 Legislative Session. This document represents what we believe are the critical priorities that face our districts and stand to beneﬁt the 812,000 plus students we serve each and every day.
Resolved: the 80 school districts of Region 10 urge the Texas Legislature to increase the Basic Allotment by at least $275 per WADA (Weighted Average Daily Attendance) for the next biennium. This resolution is based upon the following:
The burden of providing funds for public education is continuing to shift more toward local taxpayers.
While state aid for public education has increased 12.7% since 2008, from $17.14 billion to $19.59 billion, local property taxes have risen 44.2%, from $18.2 billion to $26.25 billion during the same time frame. Some of the funds collected from school district property taxes are making up for recent reductions in the state treasury caused by franchise tax relief.
In 2008, the percentage of funding for Texas schools was split nearly evenly between local (51.5%) and state (48.5%) sources. In 2017, the figures are estimated to increase to nearly 58% from local property taxes and 42% from the state. By 2018, it is further projected that the imbalance will increase to 63% from local taxes and only 37% from the state. This is an unsustainable pattern that threatens to shortchange our students.
More school districts than ever are considered property rich (Chapter 41 districts), forcing them to send more in local property taxes to the state in the form of recapture payments. The total of these payments for redistribution is projected to increase from $3.69 billion to $5.13 billion.
HOW CAN WE ACHIEVE INCREASED FUNDING?
An increase in the Basic Allotment would not require additional revenue to be raised by the state. Instead, revenues generated from increased recapture payments and increases in property values would be returned to local school districts.
Information obtained from Legislative Budget Board (LBB); Moak, Casey, & Associates; and Ross Ramsey’s October 21 & 24 postings, www.texastribune.org.
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